Day Hike to Mount Madison, White Mountains, New Hampshire

By AlpineZone News |
Nov 04 2000 - 11:04 AM

Saturday, Saturday, November 4, 2000
Trails: Valley Way > Osgood* > Airline Cut-off > Airline > Scar > Valley Way
Participants: Farmer Bob, Tim Scott & Mike P, Gary T. & Eric S.
*Farmer Bob had to be home before the rest of us so he went back down Valley Way

View images from this Hike!

Comments: Trail conditions were dry at the very start, below the snow, they were wet & muddy & finally, as we got higher on Valley Way, the snow became deeper finally reaching about one feet in depth just below treeline. (Mt. Washington recorded 10.8″ on Sunday so snow levels are most likely almost double. We had a leisurely lunch at the hut & another decent length break on Madison’s summit. Weather was about 34 degrees on summit (evident from ice that had fallen off rocks & puddle right on the top).

Almost zero wind throughout most of the day, maybe 5-10 MPH gust just before entering the trees. Farmer Bob’s early departure also meant he missed all the pain & tedious work of breaking through the often calf to knee deep snow (with ice covering) of the Airline Cut-off which connects Madison Hut with the Airline Trail. The rest of the group was in great spirits through this short peril, mostly because I was the first person in line & they kept wondering who’s dumb idea it was to take the cut-off. Also explains why I was first in line. The views into King Ravine, IMO were worth the effort. There were quite a bit of traffic around Madison Hut as many people were out enjoying a rare, near windless day. School Groups, Trailwights Hikers & Ski Patrol types all spending time outdoors.

Once we got below the trees, even more slush on Airline than Valley Way due to afternoon cooling. We had agreed after Airline Cut-off not to break anymore trails but slush & water on Airline became pretty tedious. Scar was unbroken but only 2-4″ of wet snow. We traded slush for mud on Scar as it was the muddiest trail we were on all day. Gary T. & I stopped on the upper two viewpoints of the Durand loop for the view back at Madison & Adams. We got back to the cars right around dark & were relieved to know that the two guys who had planned on spending the night in Edmands Col took our advice & bagged their plans. (One of them injured his finger also which was part of their decision process, that part was unfortunate.) Tim Scott & I ended the day at the Pizza Pub in Twin Mountain. Doesn’t look like much on the outside but they serve a pretty good pizza, best in the Whites IMO.

Submitted by Mike Paggioli
Colchester, CT
Thu, 17 Nov 2000